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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  November 24, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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dream of genie" to "who shot j.r." for decades he played the characters we loved and loved to hate. tonight we remember legendary tv star larry hagman. is it money well spent? billions shelled out for everything from drones to sno-cone machines all in the name of keeping you safe here at home, paid for with taxpayer money. and tonight's the night. >> the winning ticket. >> powerball fever, what would you do with $325 million? captions paid for by nbc-universal televisi good evening, for many americans, it was just something fun to do on this saturday after thanksgiving, get out of the house, burn off some turkey calories, get some early holiday shopping done, but for retail analysts, this weekend could signal the start of something big for the u.s. economy.
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147 million people were expected to shop between friday and sunday. record numbers of shoppers are making purchases on their mobile devices or ipads, and for those who did venture out today, the foot traffic wasn't just at big box retailers but also at mom and pop neighborhood stores, part of a concerted effort to promote small business on this holiday saturday. nbc's michelle franzen has been out in the crowds today, she joins us in front of macy's, the flagship store in new york. good evening, michelle. >> reporter: good evening, kate. consumer confidence has been improving over the last few months, and retailers are hoping that new excitement along with the emotions of the holiday season will translate into a boost in sales. the hunt for deals today paid off for donna bunk, who was just getting started with her holiday shopping in new york city. >> not expecting to get a pair of boots but when you walk past these and they're only $30, how could you go wrong? >> reporter: just the attitude retailers are banking on that
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the crucial holiday shopping season off and running. >> i had to buy a suitcase to take home, because i've been shopping for about four days. don't tell anybody. >> reporter: the frenzy started on thanksgiving day when black friday early bird promotions turned into a feast for shoppers. those doorbuster deals on everything from flat screen tvs to must have toys, getting snapped up as consumers got swept up in the frenzy. sales are expected to grow a little over 4% this year with shoppers spending $586 billion. walmart released a statement calling it the best black friday ever. >> we had over 22 million customers in our store between 8:00 and midnight last night. >> reporter: macy's also saw record crowds. >> the line of incoming traffic never stopped, never ceased. >> reporter: as retail giants raked in the sales, small shop owners looked to get a piece of the pie today as customers came out for small business saturday.
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>> mom and pop shops and in our case, mom and daughter shops, we need love, too. >> reporter: in hoboken, hard hit by superstorm sandy, small businesses were open and hopeful. >> this is the time when the town really needs support from the locals. >> reporter: in arlington, virginia, president obama took his daughter shopping today supporting a local book store and asking americans to do the same. meanwhile savvy shoppers are using every tool at their disposal to find discounts. reports show online sales were up more than 20% on black friday. >> it's easier and it's better, away from a lot of crowd of people. >> reporter: so far, shoppers appear to be in the mood, to buy, if the price is right. and heading into cyber monday, retail analysts say that sales are expected to jump 12% over last year, with americans spending $96 billion on that day alone. kate? >> michelle franzen tonight thank you. overseas, tensions are
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rising in cairo and across egypt, days after that country's new president once hailed as a hero and reformer made a huge power grab that has some labeling him egypt's new pharaoh. tonight supporters and opponents of mohamed morsi are calling for mass demonstrations. nbc's jim maceda is high above cairo's tahrir square. jim, good evening. >> reporter: hi, kate. well, of course, tahrir square behind me was ground zero for egypt's 2011 uprising, but lately it's had a similar feel and the smell of tear gas is back in the air. clashes between morsi opponents and riot police raged through the night and into a second day. protesters turning tahrir square into a tent encampment and pledging to target the besieged president until he designs or rescinds the decrees which give him sweeping powers and put him above the law.
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the move has triggered riots across the country, injuring more than 300 egyptians. "if morsi does that, we'll be exactly like iran, said this protester. "he is making himself not just a dicer, he's making himself a god." he said he had to take action to take radical action to save egypt from hosni mubarak's regime. but egyptians like alid mahmoud, a field medic who lost his friend in the uprising feels cheated by morsi and the islamist. they got his vote, but he says they got nothing but a new regime. do you think there will be another revolution like the one before? >> actually, the next revolution started yesterday. so i think that is the second revolution. >> reporter: across town, this man couldn't disagree more, abdul is a financial manager and member of morsi's muslim brotherhood. he thinks the president is a hero and a democrat, not a dictator.
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his controversial decrees the right decision to keep the revolution alive. "personally i've benefited from the uprising" he says, "the economy is starting to move and life is getting better." but if he ventured into tahrir square today, he'd see this, entry into muslim brotherhood forbidden. this is a muslim brotherhood free zone? >> it's not their revolution. >> reporter: battle lines being drawn across a divided nation with signs of more trouble ahead. today egyptian judges called for a nationwide strike and protest while both pro and anti-morsi factions are preparing for a million-man march, all this is happening on tuesday, and we're going to watch it. kate? >> jim maceda at his post above tahrir square. this evening as you might imagine, the obama administration is closely monitoring the situation in egypt. volatility there could have an effect on the entire region. nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house tonight.
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mike, what are you hearing from there? >> reporter: good evening to you, kate. just three days ago officials here reacted with positive emotions between morsi. and the role he brokered between the cease-fire in israel and hamas. some saw and some still see a way to leverage morsi's influence with hamas into jump-starting a middle east peace process that was all but dead. morsi's move to extend authoritarian rule by undercutting the courts complicated matters for the u.s. which still sends roughly $1 billion in aid each year to egypt. in the wake of the power grab u.s. officials issued a cautious statement of concern and a call for calm and there is a lot at stake for morsi and his muslim brotherhood as well, there's billions of dollars in imf funds, most important to the u.s. is continued stability in egypt, that peace treaty some three decades old between israel and egypt, absolutely vital for u.s. and western interests. kate? >> mike viqueira at the white house tonight, thank you. another hot spot the white house is keeping an eye on, the situation in israel and gaza,
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where a three-day-old cease-fire is still holding tonight. amid the rubble, there are signs life is starting to get back to normal, though there are also lingering worries about how long it will last. we get our report tonight from nbc's aymin moyheldin in gaza. >> reporter: for the first time since gaza took over the strip six years ago, israel's navy eased the blockade that prohibited boats from fishing beyond three miles from shore. now they can go twice as far says gaza's fishermen syndicate. and near the border with israel today, farmers were allowed access to land that for years had been off limits. another sign that life was slowly returning to normal, tens of thousands of students went back to school today. amid the ruins of israel's air strikes that claims were to stop rocketfire, some students stopped to take it all in. "it's not easy being a child in gaza," these students told me. some had relatives killed in the air strikes, others said they lost classmates.
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"i want to grow up to become a rocket engineer" this boy told us. he doesn't mean the kind that goes into space but rockets fired by palestinian factions. the fighters are national heroes here, idolized for what people call resistance. israel calls them terrorists. with scenes of destruction serving as the backdrop for students returning to schools like this one, it's no surprise teachers say that a generation of palestinian children have been traumatized by what they've seen. in the classroom it's visible. >> this kind of war leads to long-term consequences of students becoming more aggressive, more violent in their speech. >> reporter: for some like this 8-year-old, her vivid drawings say it all, page after page of firing rockets and guns and israeli helicopters firing missiles. this is her reality, she tells me. for students in gaza, the toughest lessons may not be what they learned in the classroom
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but trying to make sense what is happening in the world all around them. ayman mohyeldin, gaza. back here at home tributes are pouring in for an icon of american television for decades. larry hagman achieved worldwide fame playing the villainous oil baron j.r. ewing on the prime time soap "dallas." he died yesterday in dallas surrounded by family and friends and nbc's kristen dahlgren takes a look back at his life and career. >> reporter: for a time he was the most famous actor in the world, the subject of the biggest cliffhanger ever. [ gunshot ] the question, who shot j.r. catapulted larry hagman into tv history. for more than a decade hagman was the character audiences couldn't get enough of, the wicked, scheming j.r. ewing. the 81-year-old was reprising his role as j.r. in the tnt reboot of "dallas." you're not a kinder, gentler version of yourself? >> hardly. >> reporter: along with family
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his co-stars were at his side when hagman died in a dallas hospital friday, finally succumbing to the throat cancer he had been battling. in a statement, nbc co-star linda gray said "larry hagman was my best friend for 35 years. he was a pied piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew. the world was a brighter place because of him." on the site of the real life south fork ranch outside dallas, fans mourned the loss of the tv legend. >> it's really sad to hear because his character made the show. >> reporter: hagman was also remembered for his role as major nelson in "i dream of genie." friday night barbara eden reminisced about her co-star. >> i am deeply saddened. he was a big part of my life, a glorious man, wonderfully talented. quite frankly, i thought he would go on forever. >> reporter: hagman was the son of broadway icon mary martin. he appeared in scores of tv
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scores and films but it was his role on "dallas" that made hagman a legend. >> nobody could beat larry hagman when it came to playing a villain we loved to hate. >> reporter: larry hagman, larger than life and impossible to forget. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, los angeles. another passing to tell you about tonight, hector "macho" camacho passed away this morning at a hospital in puerto rico, after his family made the decision to remove him from life support. doctors had declared the boxing great brain dead earlier this week after he was ambushed and shot. hector "macho" camacho was 50 years old. still ahead as "nbc nightly news" continues, an armored vehicle for a small town pumpkin festival and sno-cone machines in case of emergency? billions in taxpayer dollars spent all in the name of keeping you safe. later it started as a project to spend more family time and making a difference for so many people in need.
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this is what it looked like today in downtown springfield, massachusetts, after authorities there say a natural gas explosion leveled a building, damaging more than 40 others last night. 18 people were hurt, many of them first responders. building inspectors are assessing homes and businesses in the area now to make sure they're structurally safe after the blast. now to a story about a government program created in the aftermath of 9/11, ten years
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ago tomorrow congress created the department of homeland security, and every year that department gives out grant money to local law enforcement agencies, but a soon to be released report questions whether all that money is really making america any safer. keene, new hampshire, is a small, quaint new england town so it seemed strange when the police department needed an armored vehicle like this called a bearcat to fight terrorism. >> i couldn't imagine what they meant. >> reporter: what did they list as potential terrorist targets? >> the pumpkin festival that we hold every october that's held right here. >> reporter: in the town square. >> in the town square. >> reporter: does it get out of control, the pumpkin festival? >> no. >> reporter: although it wasn't the only thing they cited the festival was a big part of their argument for the $286,000 bearcat. but it turns out keene didn't have to foot the bill.
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u.s. taxpayers did. all across the country law enforcement departments are getting the latest in military style equipment from armored cars to flying drones. republican senator tom coburn of oklahoma had his office follow the money and released the findings exclusively to nbc news. how much money are we talking about? >> over a period of years, billions. >> reporter: billions of dollars? >> um-hum. >> reporter: nearly $35 billion over the last ten years all from homeland security grant programs meant to help communities fight terrorism. coburn's report says taxpayers paid for things like a $45.6 million surveillance camera system in chicago that doesn't work, a $6.2 million program to read license plates in california, and $6,000 for sno-cone machines in michigan. they said that could make ice in case of emergency. do you blame communities for abusing the system? >> we have created a culture in our country that says you don't
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have to stand on your own, the federal government will come in, and the federal government's all of us. i don't blame communities. i blame members of congress. >> reporter: craig fugate is the head of fema which distributes the grants. he says the vast majority of grants are helping to make america safer but acknowledges there have been some hard to explain decisions. >> what was happening though we were trying to build preparedness saying each jurisdiction determine what you need to do to get better prepared but we weren't based that upon what are the threats nationally. >> reporter: back in keene, new hampshire, councilman terry clark tried to block the bearcat. >> i thought it was unconscionable and couldn't be part of it. >> reporter: but clark lost the battle. the bearcat arrived in keene just this week, too late for this year's pumpkin festival. fema says the obama administration is pushing to change the rules for the way those grants are distributed, meantime sator coburn's report on the grants is expected to be released next month. we're back in a moment with the sudden outbreak of lotto
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♪ gangnam style i promise you we have a good reason for playing this song again and putting it on an endless loop in your head for the rest of the night. after near non-stop play on the radio, south korean rapper psy is the new king of youtube, dethroning the reigning leader, the bieb. his video is now the most watched youtube video ever, topping justin bieber's video for "baby." more than 806 million views since it was posted in july and still growing at this minute. a lot of folks across the country have a serious case of lotto fever tonight. one of the largest powerball
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jackpots ever, $325 million. the drawing takes place in a few hours. and nbc's thang truong is out in convenience store in atlanta where folks are dreaming big. >> reporter: hi, kate. i love the fact the fantasy of becoming a millionaire starts at a place that sells doughnuts and slushies. powerball sales at this quick trip in atlanta have been study and will likely pick up more as we get closer to tonight's drawing. the $325 million jackpot is the fourth largest in powerball history. millions of people across 44 states have been lining up and buying what they hope is what their ticket is going to be for quick riches. by the way, the one-time cash payout would be $312 million, before taxes of course. leading up to tonight's bonanza, there have been 14 consecutive drawings with no jackpot winner. your chances of picking five numbers and the powerball, 1 in 175 million, but hey, it is possible. a couple from iowa did hit the
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jackpot at $202 million back in september. so you do have a chance here. and by the way, kate, i do have my ticket and you have a couple hours, a few hours left to get yours. >> you'll share that with all of us, i'm sure, thank you. and we wanted to update you on a story we first told you last night, a reason to celebrate for folks in one of the area's hardest hit by the monster storm sandy, breezy point in queens. last night, kristen diffindale and james keane said their i dos. they were busy planning their i wedding when the storm hit. their house was flooded. the church where they were supposed to get married was turned into a command center. they nearly postponed the whole thing but in the end as you can see they decided to go ahead to give their friends and family a much needed reason to smile, and our big congratulations to them. when we come back, they're making time for family and making a difference for a lot of other families.
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finally tonight, it started as a project to spend more family time together but it quickly snowballed and this month one family in north carolina hit a major milestone and they're making a difference for a lot of folks in need. here's nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: for suzanne and jeff yeough it started as an idea to bring their family together. >> it does matter that they spend time with us. >> reporter: with three teenagers that's not always easy. >> we're a typical family. >> reporter: typical until you see how they spend their weekends.
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this family of five organized the charlotte branch of the national group kids against hunger. >> like this, and open the bag. >> reporter: where volunteers of all ages pack meals for the hungry. >> just like feels really good because i know that they're going to get a meal tonight. >> reporter: 16-year-old alec does his part, so does older brother jeffrey. >> it's surprising especially since i never thought it would have been like this. >> reporter: their 14-year-old sister abbey tallies the results. >> a lot of kids lives have been saved from the food that we've packed. >> reporter: six meals per bag, mixture including rice and soy, paid for by donations from schools, churches and local businesses. >> we started off thinking we'd do one a month and we have a whole slate of different packing events coming up, sort of gets addictive to want to do it. >> reporter: about 10% of the meals stay in charlotte. the rest are shipped elsewhere, to places like haiti and central america. the yeough family partnered with
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an international relief agency, to spend many of the meals to children in nicaragua. >> we have everything we need and want and they don't really have even anything to eat. >> reporter: on this day, a milestone. >> you just packed our millionth meal! >> reporter: that's 1 million meals in just a year and a half. >> in the scheme of things is it really a lot? no, but it's the dent that the five of us can make. and if everybody tries to make a dent, there can be a difference. >> reporter: not bad for one family who hopes their idea is contagious. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, charlotte, north carolina. and that is "nightly news" for this saturday. i'm kate snow in tonight for lester. for all of us here at nbc news, have a great night.
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nbc bay area news starts now. >> good evening. i'm kris sanchez in for diane dwyer tonight. a 15-year-old is under arrest in connection with a series of crimes, including the homicide of a carjacking victim, the shooting of a police officer, and a handful of armed robberies. the crime spree happened friday before last. the manhunt for that young suspect ended yesterday. nbc bay area's kimberly tere is live in juvenile hall with the details. kimberly? >> reporter: kris, police say it was great detective work that led them to that 15-year-old in concord where he was arrested yesterday evening. the teen, whose name is not being released because of his age faces charges that


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